Tuesday, 10 September 2013

Finally Waking Up

photo by Luigi Diamanti
from FreeDigitalPhotos.net
You've probably heard this story before. But if you can relate to it, and especially if you are currently in this situation, I really hope that you'll stick around and read on.

Once upon a time, there was a young woman who had just started working. She enjoyed how she could suddenly afford nearly everything she wanted, and look! Her bank delivered a shiny credit card right to her door. And boy, that credit card sure was fun to use! 

So the young woman bought clothes, cute stuff, make up, more clothes, accessories, more clothes... and then her credit card bill arrived. No problem! She only had to pay the minimum. Charge on! And on, and on, and on for months and months.

Until one day, she realised that no matter how much money she put into paying the minimum amount on her credit card bill, the balance was not getting any lower. She started getting worried. But she still kept using the card, since there was a little bit left in it, and surely one or two more purchases wouldn't hurt?

Ok, enough. We all know this is me. Well, it WAS me. And some of you might be able to predict how my situation snowballed out of control. The bank offered me a higher credit limit, I said yes, I spent more and more... and the amount of worry and stress I was under was parallel to how much I owed on that card. Until I couldn't keep up, I was under so much pressure that I couldn't sleep, and I was getting depressed.

I guess it wasn't one specific moment for me that snapped me out of my stupidity. The first one happened on a moving day. When everything had been packed up and ready to go, I could not believe how much stuff I actually had. It was embarrassing. To make matters worse, everyone involved in the move kept commenting on it too.

The second, and I guess most important realisation for me was, that I was using shopping as a band-aid for unhappiness. And like any addiction, it turned into a vicious cycle - the more unhappy I was, the more I shopped, and because I shopped, I became even more unhappy, and to cheer myself up... well, you get the picture.

I've kicked myself mentally a lot since then. And let me tell you, if you ever get to this point, stop as soon as you catch yourself doing it. Don't be too hard on yourself. You are human, and you are allowed to make mistakes.

After I finally woke up from that nightmare, I started trying to fix it. It took a long time, and a lot of slip ups along the way, but I'm happy to say that I no longer lose sleep over my credit card bills.

P.S. if you're in a similar situation and need to talk to someone about it, flick me an email. I'd be more than happy to try and help.

P.P.S. This is my 100th post! Yay!

Sept. 9 Blogtember topic: Describe a distinct moment when your life took a turn.

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  1. Happy 100th post! And congrats on conquering that demon!

  2. That seems to be such a common cycle - unhappy, go shopping, bill comes, even more unhappy, shop even more, repeat. I think I'm lucky because my mom has such ridiculous credit card debt, I've always been wary of my spending habits with them, but I'm also really aware that buying new stuff does give me like a "happiness jolt" or something, so I try to be conscious of that and find other things that can counteract a crappy day (I'd say the 20 pounds I put on in grad school attest to the fact that food works almost as well... ugh).

    Anyway, congrats on recognizing your bad habits and fixing them - I know it's much harder to actually do than it ever looks by the time you're able to look back and write a blog post on it!